President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on his office’s website Thursday that Ukraine has now evacuated 89 of its citizens from the Gaza Strip.

Ukraine’s Ambassador to Israel, Yevhen Korniychuk, said on Thursday that Kyiv had been granted permission to evacuate 329 Ukrainians from the besieged area, on the same day that an upcoming humanitarian pause in Israeli shelling of the Palestinian enclave was announced.

The evacuation process began on Wednesday, when the first 43 Ukrainians were extracted, as well as 36 Moldovans. An additional 46 Ukrainians were evacuated on Thursday.

In all, an estimated 500 Ukrainians have been trapped in the area since hostilities began on Oct. 7, with about 370 of them reaching out to their embassy for assistance.

“We continue to work,” Zelensky said in Thursday’s statement. “A very painstaking and delicate process.”

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The Foreign Affairs Ministry had clarified on Nov. 1 that preparations were underway for the evacuations, with citizens being assisted in alphabetical order, according to their citizenship. The Ministry is helping with documentation and transportation arrangements and is sending diplomatic staff to the border to personally assist its citizens.

“We are working to get our people out as soon as possible. The issue is under the personal control of Minister Dmytro Kuleba,” the Foreign Affairs Ministry said.

US National Security Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said at a White House press conference on Thursday that “Israel will begin to implement four-hour pauses in areas of northern Gaza each day, with an announcement to be made three hours beforehand...

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“We’ve been told by the Israelis that there will be no military operations in these areas over the duration of the pause (and) that this process is starting today,” said Kirby.

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